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Making a big splash by himself
Hugh D. Whall
September 03, 1973
Single-handed, Jim Hahn let it all hang out to win the O'Day Trophy
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September 03, 1973

Making A Big Splash By Himself

Single-handed, Jim Hahn let it all hang out to win the O'Day Trophy

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Hahn favored going out—but only if he could defeat Trask. "It wouldn't make me happy to beat some of the 140-pounders, but beating Don, that would make me happy," he said before the day's last race. He did it by one place and a gap of more than a minute. "I don't like getting far out in front of the fleet," grumbled Hahn afterward. "There are no tactics involved out there. All you have to do is sail the boat."

The lightweights received no relief the next day when a low-pressure cell shoved across the New Jersey coast. The wind was wild, the harbor woolly. Hiking straps began to pull out under the strain of feet tugging against them, and boats were capsizing in every direction. Some crashed to starboard, others to port, and some tried to go end over end. At the conclusion of the only race that day, Talbott Ingram had survived to take first. Hahn was second.

Everyone except Ingram had capsized at least once, and Ogden Ross from Maine gave up counting after his 10th mishap. Trask did not actually turn over, but he twice heeled so far that it was decided to give him an honorary capsize. The fleet sped over the course in less than 50 minutes, which must be a record for these small boats.

By finishing a very safe second Hahn practically ensured himself overall victory—providing he was cautious during the final day's races. He was precisely that and went on to beat Trask by a whopping 18.3 points. Chris Boome, a boat hardware salesman from San Francisco, finished third with 74.2 points.

When he came ashore from the final event soaked and tired, Hahn looked around half expectantly. But of course there was no one on hand to throw him into the water.

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